Standing in the front of the room behind a podium and taking questions from the media admittedly isn't Jared Goff's favorite thing about being an NFL quarterback. But even Goff couldn't hide a smile Friday afternoon when talking about next week's matchup in Kansas City against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on national television in the first contest of the 2023 NFL season.
Goff finished last year playing some of the best football of his career. He led a Lions' offense that was fifth in points scored, fifth in yards per play, first in 30-point games and top seven in plays of 20-plus yards gained. But even for how good Detroit's offense was last year, Lions GM Brad Holmes said Friday he expects it to be even more explosive with the additions of running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery, tight end Sam LaPorta, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and a healthy Jameson Williams when he returns from a suspension.
Goff sees the same potential for this offense, and hopes they can pick up where they left off last year.
"Excited to get back and hopefully continue what we were doing (last year)," Goff said. "There isn't some magic pill where you can take it and we keep rolling on the same hot streak we were on at the end of the year so it's going to take a lot of work and getting on the same page through this week."
After getting off to slow starts in each of the last two seasons it would certainly be a welcomed change to get off to a hot start to begin this season.
Goff likes the buzz surrounding the team and the work they put in over the last few months to showcase themselves on a huge stage next Thursday.
"It's fun being in the city with all the excitement," Goff said. "But with that being said it doesn't mean anything if you don't win. I think I know that. I think we know that. I've been on winning teams. I've been on losing teams. People will continue to be excited if we continue to win.
"If we can get on that winning streak that we talked about – it starts with the first one – find our way into a hot streak and keep winning and this city will continue to be excited. But it starts with this week and Kansas City and finding a way to win the first one."
DEPTH ON DEFENSE
The Lions went heavy on the defensive side of the ball on their initial 53-man roster with 29 players on defense making the roster vs. 21 on offense. The team has since moved outside linebacker Julian Okwara to IR and re-signed running back Craig Reynolds, making the split 28-22 defense vs. offense, which is still pretty heavy on defense.
"I'm sure you've all seen the numbers, it's pretty heavy over there, but with that kind of depth on the defensive side of ball, I do believe that that's how you put yourself in best position to sustain over the long haul during the course of the season," Holmes said.
Overall on defense, between the additions they've made in free agency with players like C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cam Sutton, along with some of their young players expected to take the next step in their development plus some rookie contributions, Holmes is confident Detroit can improve on defense.
"Yeah, I have the utmost confidence that we can achieve that," he said. "With (defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG and the personnel that we have, I do think that we have the recipe to achieve that. I do believe, obviously we're deep at edge, we're deep back there at safety, we're deep at corner, so I do think we have the necessary pieces to achieve that."
Veteran linebacker Alex Anzalone said the players on defense are eager to take the field Thursday to show just how improved they are against the league's top offense last season in the Chiefs.
"I feel like we are all really motivated," he said. "Obviously we had that stretch of defense where we were playing high level football last year, but at the same time I don't know what our final ranking was, but I know it was toward the bottom. That's really motivated a lot of guys and collectively as a group to really get off to a fast start and really show the world what we are made of."
MOSELEY MAKING STRIDES
It was good to see veteran cornerback Emmanuel Moseley start the season on the active roster and not the PUP list. If Moseley had started the year on PUP, he would have missed the first four games. Could he be back as soon as Week 1?
"He'll get his first work with all of us out there today and then he'll get a little bit tomorrow," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Friday. "It's tough for me to say right now, but he's progressed well. It's a credit to him. He's put a ton of work into it, he's a grinder and what bodes well for him is he's smart. He's played the game and he's pretty instinctive. I think he's got a chance to catch up pretty fast. Does that mean this week? I don't know, but we'll just take it as it comes."
Moseley has been rehabbing a torn ACL suffered last October while he was starting for the San Francisco 49ers.
- The Lions have a good plan in place for second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams after he was placed on the suspended list this week for a gambling violation and can't be around the team. Holmes said six games seems like a long time, but Williams can return to Allen Park after Week 3 to start training and getting acclimated back to football.
- Holmes on contract talks with Goff and G Jonah Jackson: "Yeah, absolutely, we've kept an open dialogue with their agents in camp and I think the transparency has been good, so we'll see how it goes. Good dialogue."